Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, introduced legislation this week that would give the U.S. Capitol Police authority to enforce federal immigration laws and said they need that authority to counteract illegal immigrants who hold protests in Congress.

"The Capitol Police, a federal law enforcement agency, do not have explicit statutory authority to enforce our immigration laws," King said.

"Without clear authority, they are not investigating the immigration status of protesters openly claiming they are here illegally while disrupting committee proceedings and shutting down congressional offices."

He added that it makes no sense for Congress to demand the end of sanctuary cities while Capitol Hill offices "serve as sanctuaries for lawlessness."

King's two-page bill, the Ending the Sanctuary Capitol Policy Act, would let Capitol Police crack down on "any violation of the immigration laws, if the officer is in the performance of official duties when the authority is exercised."

King is among the more vocal supporters of a crackdown on illegal immigration and has supported President Trump's effort to deny federal funds to sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal officials on immigration policies.